Lifejackets are the most important piece of safety equipment on any recreational vessel. And in many situations you and your passengers are required by law to wear one. Penalties apply.

Lifejacket laws in Victoria

In Australia, lifejacket laws differ from state to state. Since Victoria's laws were introduced, there have been many lives saved as a result. While we also have one of the lowest rates of boating-related drownings, sadly, every year many boaters drown not wearing a lifejacket.

Lifejacket laws are actively enforced by marine authorities. Penalties apply if occupants are not wearing lifejackets when they are required to do so. Penalities also apply to the owner and masters of vessels, or if there are not enough lifejackets for everyone on board.

Visit our Wear A Lifejacket website for more information about lifejacket laws in Victoria.

Choosing a lifejacket

Modern lifejackets cater for just about every boating situation, from kayaking or kite surfing in sheltered waters to offshore fishing or sailing on the open sea. With a wide range of styles and colours available, there's a lifejacket to suit your specific needs. So be safe and wear yours.

Visit our Wear A Lifejacket website for more information about choosing the right lifejacket for your lifestyle, including the wide range of lifejackets available now designed specially for children, women and a variety of boating activities like kayaking, kiteboarding, jet skiing and paddle boarding.

Lifejackets on babies and toddlers

Maritime Safety Victoria does not recommend taking infants on board a recreational boat.

Because of the varying weight distribution of babies, it is difficult to design lifejackets which have flotation in the right places to keep babies afloat. The lifejackets currently available for newborns up to 10 kg may not provide a proper fit or perform as expected.

You must be sure you know the lifejacket you have works for your infant. Children should not be exposed to any risk on a boat on the water.

Maintenance and servicing

It is important that boaters check their jackets regularly, prior to wearing. Remember, inflatable lifejackets are not lifejackets until they are inflated and all it takes is a fish hook, or a loose or damaged CO2 cylinder to prevent them from inflating.

Visit our Wear A Lifejacket website for more information about looking after your lifejacket, including a step-by-step guide to self-checking your jacket.